BANGKOK — The military has summoned representatives from 18 Thai newspapers to attend a 2pm meeting at the Army Club tomorrow.
Since seizing power on 22 May, the military junta has directed most of its media censorship towards television and radio stations. Tonight's summons is the first indication that the military may directly target print media as well.
Khaosod was among those invited to the meeting and will send a chief editor to represent the newspaper.
After announcing the coup d'etat on Thursday afternoon, the military junta temporarily blacked out all television and radio stations, including international broadcasters like CNN and BBC. Media outlets that tried to stream live coverage online were shutdown as well.
The military has also warned all news outlets and social media users not to publish anything that could "incite unrest" or cause "public confusion," warning that violaters may face prosecution. In addition, all academics and other non-officials have been forbidden from giving comments to the media that run counter to the military junta's goals.
Over the past few days, over 100 politicians, activists, and academics have been summoned to the Army Club.
Many of those who have reported to such meetings have not been released, including Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra who was detained after she arrived at the Army Club in compliance with her summons.
International human rights organisations have unanimously condemned the military's arbitrary arrests and restrictions on media freedom.
“Widespread censorship and threats to the media are aimed at silencing any and all critics of military rule in Thailand,” said Human Rights Watch's Brad Adams. “Thailand’s friends and allies should demand an end to this assault on the media. In a political crisis, free speech is needed more than ever.”
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